Jump to content


Photo

How Many Hours A Day Do You Work?


  • Please log in to reply
26 replies to this topic

#1 nancylee

nancylee

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 219 posts
  • LocationUpstate NY

Posted 18 December 2013 - 06:58 AM

Morning,
I have been looking at your displays, and am amazed at how much you all have! To make a living at this, do you work a full time day, or more than an 8 hour day? I have gotten into 2 shows so far, one in March and one in April, and have no back stock. I was making custom from orders on etsy, so haven't been making things to put away.

So what does a typical business day look like for you?

I am adding up what I need and that I have about 90 days, and getting nervous! I do not throw quickly. Handles take me forever. I can make bowls very quickly! I want to try some shows, but don't want to get ahead of myself here.

The shows are in NJ and Maryland, because I have family I can stay with at both places, saving on expenses.

So any information on a typical day would be greatly appreciated,
Nancy
Nancy
Northern Woods Pottery
www.northernwoodsstudio.blogspot.com

#2 Mark C.

Mark C.

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,932 posts
  • LocationNear Arcata Ca-redwood rain forest

Posted 18 December 2013 - 04:29 PM

yesterday schedule-this is for clay zombies only keep this in mind

 

7.45 head out to studio and adjust gas heater for whatever I need to do-today dry pots fast so up it goes-shop will be 80 degrees soon. Check on glaze fire cooling down. Head to house for coffee and check out CAD

8.30 back to studio -trimm yesterdays stuff-make new stuff (the last stuff) for x-mas last load

11.30 head to town to open my pottery booth-put up lights move in new stock

and restock an gallery outlet

12.45 home for lunch

1.pm- make last of this years pots and handle yesterdays stuff

3pm take advantage of a rare sunny day and sort out van boxes that is consoladate 1/2 emptys and make all full ones. This gets van ready for new load from glaze fire unload tomorrow.

3.30 trim this mornings pots and throw a few last pots

5.15 head to town (10 min.) to close booth

6 pm-back in studio for a we bit more clay work on todays stuff-set heater for night (adjust for dry level I need)

7 pm in house for dinner. 

This is my last two weeks x-mas schedule which is not normal

It goes on like this from dec 13th till x-mas eve 7 days a week-no time out until the last kiln comes out then its a bit less hectic

Many are not cut out for this-its ruined my wifes x-mas feelings she says but she married into this 35 year schedule.

On Christmas day I'm off for at least 6 weeks to do tax prep and paperwork for my accountant

lets see today is about the same with this  am pulling some new work for booth and Bagel shop-dropping the mugs off there on way home

afternoon unloading a glaze and reloading a bisque thrown into finishing yesterdays production.

I keep this up as this month is a real income producing month-most of the work is priced and in boxes

some of this last minute stuff is for the next quarter to stock up my outlets that sell year around as I want to shut down for a spell after x-mas.

one last note-no drinking or drugs  ever except large amounts of expresso

also I have an assistant part time that helps with whatever needs doing and that is many tasks

Mark


Mark Cortright
www.liscomhillpottery.com

#3 nancylee

nancylee

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 219 posts
  • LocationUpstate NY

Posted 18 December 2013 - 04:51 PM

Thanks, Mark! I would have guessed that you have a schedule like this! I don't smoke or do any drugs or drink either, but I'd better try more espresso to get cracking!
Nancy
Nancy
Northern Woods Pottery
www.northernwoodsstudio.blogspot.com

#4 clay lover

clay lover

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 899 posts
  • LocationSoutheast

Posted 18 December 2013 - 10:49 PM

Nancy, be prepared for the possibility that you could sell out completely in March and have nothing to carry over for the April sale. Better go into the March sale with way more than you think you need, then supplement after the March sale with bisque that you have ready to glaze.

#5 Mark C.

Mark C.

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,932 posts
  • LocationNear Arcata Ca-redwood rain forest

Posted 18 December 2013 - 11:31 PM

You have tons of time . Start throwing now

If I recall you husband was not into helping with shows and pottery-looking for one that will may take some time

Mark


Mark Cortright
www.liscomhillpottery.com

#6 Babs

Babs

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,072 posts

Posted 19 December 2013 - 01:20 AM

You have tons of time . Start throwing now

If I recall you husband was not into helping with shows and pottery-looking for one that will may take some time

Mark

Mark do you know you are blessed? Kiss that lady now!



#7 nancylee

nancylee

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 219 posts
  • LocationUpstate NY

Posted 19 December 2013 - 06:34 AM

Haha!!! Luckily, I do have a friend (girl) who needs $$ and wants to help! And my husband is a good carpenter - he has to finish my art cottage before I look for a new model!!! :)
Nancy
Nancy
Northern Woods Pottery
www.northernwoodsstudio.blogspot.com

#8 MikeFaul

MikeFaul

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 85 posts
  • LocationHerndon, Virginia

Posted 19 December 2013 - 09:23 AM

I'm pretty similar to Mark...

 

4:30AM Up and out of bed

5:00 AM Bring my bride coffee in bed (Yes, every morning...)

5:05 AM Pray & Journal

7:30 Leave for Studio, stop for coffee on the way

8:00 Set Daily Goals

9:00 Quick Meeting w/ Team Review Daily Goals

9:15 Clay, Glaze, or Business depending on Daily Goals

12:00 Lunch

12:30 Back to work...

6:30      Leave the studio

7:00ish Dinner

9:00 Back to sleepy house... That's on weeknights, on weekends I'm allowed to stay up until 10:00!  :)



#9 GEP

GEP

    Moderator / full time potter ^6 stoneware

  • Moderators
  • 848 posts
  • LocationSilver Spring, MD

Posted 19 December 2013 - 10:28 AM

More of a night person than a morning person .....

 

9:00 am wake up. Fill stomach with coffee and breakfast, read emails, CAD Forum, try to finish with computer stuff by 10:00 am so I can listen to the Tony Kornheiser radio show. 

 

11:00 am start working. Normal work day is 5 to 6 hours, but the past few months were "holiday schedule" which means that often stretched to 8 or 9 hours. I take a break to eat and stretch every 3 hours or so. I generally spend each day doing one thing, i.e. throwing day, trimming day, handbuilding day, glazing day. And of course during the past few months, there were lots of "show days" too.

 

So evenings are for getting errands done like groceries, cooking large batches of food (so I don't have to cook everyday). I try to run once or twice a week, but not in the last 6 weeks (now craving a run!). Otherwise, I sit on the couch and watch tv or browse the internet. Go to sleep after the late news. 

 

On days when I had to teach a class, I had to stop working before 5pm, so I could get ready for the class. This is why I had to say goodbye to teaching job (my last classes were last week). 3 or 4pm is right when I am rounding into my most productive hours of the day, so having to stop at 5pm was very disruptive. I'd often come home from class at 10pm, eat something, and go back to work. 

 

7 days a week is normal year-round. I will take a day or two off here and there, but not on a regular schedule. I will take an extended vacation maybe twice a year. Like right now, my holiday schedule is finally done so I will take a few weeks off, and start working again in January. 


Mea Rhee
Good Elephant Pottery
http://www.goodelephant.com

#10 Rebekah Krieger

Rebekah Krieger

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 553 posts
  • LocationWisconsin

Posted 19 December 2013 - 10:40 AM

Ok so as a hobby potter here it is:

 

6:00 wake up

Get 4 kids to 4 different schools 

Home at 10:00  trim anything from the day before.

11:45 Go back to pick up pre schooler

12:30 Prepare lunch and take care of pre schooler / Clean up house etc

2:45 begin rounds of picking up other 3 kids.   

4:30 Home , evening routine cooking dinner, shower, fighting teenagers from raiding pantry. Etc

9:45 Kids are all in bed by now... sneak down to basement and make pots until 12:00am.- bed 


Learning On my Kick wheel with my vintage Paragon (from the late 1960's)

#11 Mark C.

Mark C.

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,932 posts
  • LocationNear Arcata Ca-redwood rain forest

Posted 19 December 2013 - 11:29 AM

My wife has her own career with the state of Ca.

She helps sell at two of my local shows -thats 4 days on weekend a year-I keep her out of my clay zombie life-we have shared other intrests-she also delivers pottery in the twon she works in whenever its neede to save me a trip.

We do not have children but do have two cats

I have found keeping her out of my thing helps us both.

she used to do more shows with me but that strained her and I cut back on that.

Its a balance and its best to do it with others than her as far as shows. she puts in her 40 hours with the state

I'm a potter so that seems like a 1/2 time job a lot of time-I would say I'm glad I found my path at such a young age and am still liking it.-

The best part of here state job is the insurance-that cut my bill in 1/2 for medical.

We keep our finaces separate-always have so thats not a factor in my clay accounting.

Many people are not cut out for this life-I am part of a small tribe of traveling potters who do what I do and we all know one another. We live all over the west and see each other at shows-I share hotel expenes when i can with a few.

Mark


Mark Cortright
www.liscomhillpottery.com

#12 nancylee

nancylee

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 219 posts
  • LocationUpstate NY

Posted 19 December 2013 - 07:01 PM

You all work very hard!!! I am used to my day being filled for me with teaching, so I am trying to arrange a schedule. I do write, so I need an hour or two a day to write and an hour to work out or I will be nuts, so that leaves 5 hours in an 8 hour day, which I haven't ever done. Between my extra businesses, and dog rescue, I usually put in about a 13 hour day, so I should have plenty of time. Just have to figure it out. I am NOT good between 2 and 4PM. Just want to lie down and pass out that time of day! But 7 days a week I can do! Been doing it for 10 years. I think when you love what you do, you hate to not work!
Thanks, all! You are very generous to share.

Nancy


Nancy
Northern Woods Pottery
www.northernwoodsstudio.blogspot.com

#13 Pugaboo

Pugaboo

    Lifetime artist 2nd year potter

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 401 posts
  • LocationHelen, GA

Posted 19 December 2013 - 09:38 PM

My schedule is gearing up to full time still but here goes:
7am good morning up, feed the dogs, do the daily health checks on the Husband.
8:30am - 11am do household chores or run errands ( nobody delivers groceries here and gee the food doesn't just repopulate itself not the shelf)
11 - noon fix, eat, feed dogs and clean up after lunch
Noon until 5 (or 6 if I pretend I don't notice the time and work longer) it's my time in the studio. I work on painted commissions, computer graphic art projects, create in clay, and any other current project like the 400 ornaments I made for holiday shows.
6-8 feed husband, work on lap top doing computer work like research, website design or working on sketches for projects.
8- midnight relaxing with the husband and playing on my iPad on the CAD site when he's not looking.
After that at some point I go to bed. When preparing for a show or the holiday season drop off the household chores for most days and add in additional studio time instead. Basically during these times I do chores when I run out of clothes or dishes and yes I have worked all day in my studio in my pajamas because I have run out of clean pants and didn't want to interrupt studio time to do laundry.

Terry
The world is but a canvas to the imagination - Henry David Thoreau

#14 Roberta12

Roberta12

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 142 posts
  • LocationColorado

Posted 20 December 2013 - 12:25 PM

I have a question for Mark along these lines.   Since you have been making pots for a number of years, how long do you see yourself continuing at this pace??



#15 Chris Campbell

Chris Campbell

    clay stained since 1988

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,214 posts
  • LocationRaleigh, NC

Posted 20 December 2013 - 01:49 PM

I too am not a 'creative in the morning' person ... I exercise, have breakfast then tend to do computer work, website work, photo shoots and editing, office work ... boring stuff I can do at a desk with a mug of tea until about 11:00 a.m. Then from 11 until 6 or 7pm I am in my studio with a short break for lunch.

 

When I did wholesale, between April and May and September til Thanksgiving I worked 7 days a week and about 10 - 12 hours each day. Since I stopped doing wholesale, I have cut back to 5 days a week and mostly no late nights unless something needs to be tended to.

 

I do miss working late into the wee hours of the morning as this dopey, sleepy time often produces my most creative and amazing work. Trouble being, the next morning I can never remember what on earth I did, so seldom repeat it.


Chris Campbell
Contemporary Fine Colored Porcelain
http://www.ccpottery.com/

https://www.facebook...88317932?ref=hl

TRY ...   FAIL ...  LEARN ...  REPEAT


#16 Babs

Babs

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,072 posts

Posted 20 December 2013 - 07:10 PM

How are you guys taking care of your backs, hands and other body parts. Aussie gov. threatening to extend the working lives of the pop. to 70 before retirement pensions kick in.. not that I am predicting any of you, with such passion, will retire.

Perhaps a new topic is required for this!



#17 Davidpotter

Davidpotter

    Determined Young Buck

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 70 posts
  • LocationCambridge, Wisconsin

Posted 21 December 2013 - 01:50 AM

well there is a "potters hands" topic. perhaps a "head, shoulders, knees and toes" one is in order?


Practice, practice, practice. Then when you think you've practiced enough, the real practice begins.

#18 oldlady

oldlady

    single firing an electric kiln to cone 6

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 996 posts
  • Locationharpers ferry west va and pinellas park fl

Posted 21 December 2013 - 02:23 PM

from sept to thanksgiving i am always running.  that is when the four big shows happen and i am always trying to get enough pots out to have stock for each. was interrupted daily by things that did not matter so there was not much made this year. my usual day runs from before breakfast to midnight.  

 

it was a shock to set up for the most profitable sale on the friday after thanksgiving and find that i did not have enough things to fill the three tables i always reserve. i had several stands that hold multiple things that were not even used.  the space between items was HUGE looking.  i had three baskets of low priced things, $9, $12 and some tiny teabag holders at $5.  most of what was available were butterdishes and the trays i priced at $35 per Mea's advice. the sale would start on saturday and i was worried all night.  i scoured the studio to find anything to take to the sale.  there was one large open bowl that i had made at another potter's studio.  he fires in a gas kiln and let me pay for the pot and do it myself.  i stuck a ticket on it saying $110 thinking i could take it off when i brought it home on sunday.

 

the trays at $35 were the lifesavers, those were sold so fast that there were only 2 left at 2pm saturday when i left for the day.  the big one was sold before noon.  do not know what was going on but everyone had great sales that weekend.  packed up all three basket leftovers in one small one.  took home only 4 boxes, lightly packed.  was the moon in some strange phase that weekend?

 

thanks to Mea i made $50 more than last year with many fewer pots!  LESSON LEARNED............lock the studio door, make more pots and raise prices.


"putting you down does not raise me up."

#19 nancylee

nancylee

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 219 posts
  • LocationUpstate NY

Posted 22 December 2013 - 05:41 AM

Thank you all for sharing your experience! It is so interesting to see the many roads to success!
Nanc
Nancy
Northern Woods Pottery
www.northernwoodsstudio.blogspot.com

#20 Benzine

Benzine

    Socratic Potter

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,636 posts
  • LocationThe Hawkeye State

Posted 26 December 2013 - 11:31 AM

I'm with you Norm.  I will say, that I have encountered 4:30am on a few occasions, but generally, when I've crept up on it from behind, as in just never went to bed.

 

So you're saying there actually is a 4:30 am.

 

I'd suspected it was theoretically possible, but I've only personal experience with 4:30 pm.

 

I'm pretty similar to Mark...

 

4:30AM Up and out of bed

5:00 AM Bring my bride coffee in bed (Yes, every morning...)

5:05 AM Pray & Journal

7:30 Leave for Studio, stop for coffee on the way

8:00 Set Daily Goals

9:00 Quick Meeting w/ Team Review Daily Goals

9:15 Clay, Glaze, or Business depending on Daily Goals

12:00 Lunch

12:30 Back to work...

6:30      Leave the studio

7:00ish Dinner

9:00 Back to sleepy house... That's on weeknights, on weekends I'm allowed to stay up until 10:00!  :)

 


"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users